By examining the different cooking styles and techniques I will be able to make an informed opinion as to which practice is better and maybe outline some pros and cons. Please take the results of this as more of an observation and only one mans opinion.
Steak #3 will be salted like Steak #1 but will be Reversed Seared. And finally Steak #4 will be Reversed Seared and NO Dry-Brine like steak #2. The only salt I will add to Steak #2 and #4 will be when I sear them off for Maillard reaction. I will of course add pepper because I am gonna eat the steaks and can't let them go to waste. I hope this is clear.
I also plan on weighing them pre/post cooking and sear to calculate moisture loss. I'm curious about the effects of dry-brining and how it relates to moisture loss.
In previous trials the Dry-Brined steaks are always juicier. I also want to quantify moisture loss as it relates to the cooking technique....Sous-Vide vs Reverse Sear. Some variables to consider. The longer the meat sits in the water bath the greater the moisture loss. The higher the temp of the water bath the greater the moisture loss.
The whole SV experiment could be just a waste of time depending on the temps and times you choose. Meaning: With SV if you choose a long cook or high water temp it will dry out the meat. So use caution when making choices. Your choices could change the conclusions. I chose these times and temps based on previous experience and expert knowledge to bring out the best unbiased results.
Note: I have cooked meat using all of these techniques but I have never done them for a side by side comparison.
Note 8: TML= Toal Moisture Loss
Note 9 : All steaks were dried thoroughly before searing and weighing.
TML = 8.16%
ONE MANS CONCLUSIONS
So if I was working with a less tender piece of meat I would definitely Dry-Brine. I think the Reverse Sear is great for certain types of meat like.. I.E New-York's, T-Bones, Porterhouses, Fillets, and Ribeye's (maybe). Only tough cuts need to be SV and Dry-Brined in my opinion.
Order of preface- Steak #3 Clearly the winner, coming in second Steak #1, Steak #2 and last place is Steak #4.
Future experiment- So a thought crossed my mind the other day. Regarding moisture loss and SV. I have come across comments and complaints that SV dries out meat. Well this can be true if you over SV a piece of meat. We all know that the internal temp will not rise but the time spent in the bath can at times adversely effect texture and moisture. The consequence of using higher temps/time in bath will result in additional and unwanted moisture loss. Yes there are certain cuts that benefit from long cooks but I am not talking about these meats. I want to run an experiment that uses tender steaks New York, T-Bone, Porterhouse or fillet to test out my theory. I will make sure they are all cut from the same primal to ensure similar fat and marbling. I will cook 5 steaks at one temp with five different cooking times and calculate moisture % loss.